PHS Declares Cheer a Sport

By Landon Penrod

There is a question no one’s been willing to correctly define, well, until now.  The question:  is cheer a sport?  This topic has been a heated debate ever since cheerleading began.  Reporters before me who have tried to answer the question have been afraid to offend the cheerleaders and risk the torture of being thrown up into the air and be the butt of demeaning unified cheers.  Critics say cheer isn’t a sport because there is no true competition, while supporters believe that cheer is more than just saying chants and waving pom-poms. 

 “Sure cheerleading is a sport, if color guard and stretching is too,” said Joel Bateman, an anti-cheer enthusiast. 

Bateman backed up his statement by saying that all the cheerleaders really do is wave their arms and yell chants to uplift the “real” athletes.  One of our very own cheerleaders also agreed that cheer is not a sport.

“I don’t believe that cheer is a sport because if you don’t compete, you can’t call it a sport,” said Celine Grenz.

 There is another side to this argument, most cheerleaders are very passionate and have firm views on the topic.

 “I think that cheer is a sport, I played almost every sport in high school and cheerleaders work harder, have more endurance, and are the most physically fit sport in the high school,” said Coach of Payson High Cheer Coach, Keelie Snow.

Cheerleading is not just waving pom-pom’s and saying chants.  It also takes a lot of physical and mental endurance.

  “Cheer is a sport because we have a great work ethic and we compete like any other sport,” Amber Thompson said.

This year the cheer team has competed in a cheer invitational against Hillcrest, Cottonwood and Maple Mountain where they took first place, and they attended region competition on January 25 at Salem Hills High School where they finished in 4th place.  As you can see, cheer does take a lot of physical and mental endurance in order to succeed. 

Overall, I believe cheer is a sport.  The girls work as hard or harder than any other sport in the high school and take competition and conditioning very seriously.  The hours of practice they put in a day, coupled with cheer being a year round sport makes this one of the most grueling sports at the high school. Also, the cheer girls are very talented athletes, no average person could do what they do.  When you watch, you see girls being hoisted in the air, doing flips down the court, and leading the student section in cheers to name a few.  Not many people at our school could perform their stunts and flips like they do.  So instead of asking yourself whether cheer is a sport or not, cheer on the cheerleaders and respect their athletic ability.